ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Feb. 28 2020) — What a night last night for the Wyoming Cowgirls.
- They upset leading Fresno State, 64-55.
- They secured the #3 seed at next week’s Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.
- They will go into the MW Tournament riding a five-game winning streak.
- Their head coach, Gerald Mattinson, made history with the team’s sixteenth season victory, the most wins ever by a first-year head coach. Former Cowgirl basketball coach Chad Lavin had the previous record with 15 season wins.
The Cowgirls finished the regular season with a 12-6 conference record and 16-11 overall. Fresno State, despite the loss, is still the league’s #1 seed in upcoming tournament with a 16-2 mark (23-6 overall).
“I thought the effort we put out defensively was incredible,” Mattinson said. “We held that team to 55 points. They’re a great offensive team, and a very good team, well-balanced. I thought our effort was there, and it’s been there all year long. We have to spend so much effort defensively all year long for us to stay in games, and that’s just been the history here at Wyoming. I’m just so proud of our players and our team. I can’t put it into words.”
On “Senior Night” senior Taylor Rusk scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, a team-high six assists and a steal in her final regular game in the Arena-Auditorium. Redshirt junior Selale Kepenc had a team-high 13 points, all in the fourth quarter. Lyman freshman McKinley Bradshaw scored six points off the bench for the Cowgirls, all in the fourth quarter. For the game, Wyoming’s bench outscored Fresno State’s bench 31-0.
Wyoming jumped out to a 20-7 first quarter lead. The Bulldogs would cut into the lead, but Wyoming still led 28-20 at the half. Third quarter scoring was nearly even as the Pokes enjoyed a 45-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs would chip away at the Cowgirl lead, trailing only 47-43 with 7:00 to play. But, the Cowgirl’s Kepence would hit two free throws, Bradshaw would make her first three-point shot of the game, and Kepence added another made three-pointer to vault the Cowgirls to a 55-43 advantage with 5:25 to play.
The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run of their own in the final minute to make the final score appear closer at 64-59.
The Cowgirls now travel to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Tournament. On Monday, they will play at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of Sunday’s San Diego State/Utah State game. The game will be broadcast on WyoRadio’s 1360 KRKK and streamed at 1360KRKK.com beginning at 8 p.m.